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School Indoctrination

Hi, I live in a very liberal area, and my school acts as if being liberal is the only correct option. They often talk badly of conservative politicians in front of the class, and in assemblies, they will tell the whole school their left opinions. In English, we will do writing tasks of labour values, and recently my year group have been made to write a speech, however, we can only write about certain topics, and they all lean towards the left. I feel like at school I can't say my political opinion in fear of being bullied and hated. The school did a vote to see what the majority of students were, and sure enough, the large majority were labour supporters (nothing wrong with that), followed by conservatives at 30% and lib-dem at 10%, so I know I'm not alone in the silence, but surely it would be better for a school to encourage debating about your opinions, rather than keeping you quiet to prevent untrue labels from students, and possibly teachers? I might be wrong but it may be a way the school tries to almost brainwash us into their political opinion, instead of giving us the option to choose and make our own minds up.

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Sam

Hi there,

The school you go to shouldn't officially be for or against any particular political party. Schools are overseen by the government Department of Education. There are laws and guidelines which say that teachers aren’t allowed to use school resources and time to push one particular political view. When teaching about politics teachers have to stay neutral and talk about all sides of an argument.

Most places in the country have a mixture of political views, but some areas can have more people who follow one party over another. Political views are often described as being "left", meaning more liberal, and "right" which means more conservative. When your school did the poll to see how students would vote if they could, it might not be an accurate picture of what people think. Often people can have a mixture of views and often there's not one party that represents everything they think. Instead they follow a party that fits most of their views.

Even if your school’s in an area where one political view is more popular than others, your school shouldn't be officially one way or another. Teachers are people with their own views and it's okay for them to have opinions, but they shouldn't use school time or resources to promote them. You definitely shouldn't be made to feel like you can't express your opinions.

If you feel strongly about this you could first express your worries to your headteacher. Write down how you feel, what specific things are done that you feel are wrong and what you’d like things to change. If your headteacher doesn't agree or offer any solutions then you can raise it with the board of governors. The school's governors are volunteers who oversee how your school is run. Some of the governors are parents, others are teachers at the school and from the Local Education Authority. The chair of the board can't be someone who works at your school, so you can write to them as they’re supposed to be independent. It can also help to talk to an adult you trust about what’s happening at school and how it’s making you feel.

I hope this advice helps and that you feel able to bring this up with your school because you have rights and it's important these aren’t being overlooked.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care.

Sam ​

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